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Student musicians bring years of experience to Bethel ensembles

Having three of its musical groups selected to perform for the statewide Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) meeting in Wichita at the end of February points to the success of Bethel instrumental and vocal groups. A closer look at some of the individuals who constitute those groups may give some clues to that success.

Siblings Caley and Lindsey Ortman, senior Bible and religion major and sophomore social work major, respectively, from Marion, S.D., were both influenced musically by their family….

Heather Robertsen, a sophomore from rural Newton and a music major with education licensure, began performing in a children’s show choir in second grade and has been busy making music ever since….

Kristin Wedel, senior social work major from Hutchinson, has sung all four years in Concert Choir at Bethel as well as appearing in the musicals “The Fantasticks” and “Brigadoon” and Bethel’s production of Gounod’s opera “Faust”….

Music is primary for brothers Aaron and Joel Linscheid from North Newton. They are both music performance majors — Aaron in trumpet, Joel in saxophone — who are getting K-12 education licensure.

In addition, five students were selected to participate in the Kansas Intercollegiate Band during KMEA: Brett Jackson from North Newton on alto saxophone, Brent Badawieh from Parsons on bass clarinet, Blake Long from Moran on percussion, Heather Robertsen from Newton on bassoon and Andy Toews from North Newton on trombone.

Forensics qualifies for 30th straight national tournament

Following the Kansas State Individual Events championship tournament in Great Bend Feb. 16, the Bethel forensics team received the Top Small School sweepstakes award and is bound for its 30th straight American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament, a record matched statewide only by Kansas State University and nationwide by only five other schools.

Bethel to present Mozart’s The Magic Flute

Despite a layered plot, a multitude of oddly dressed characters (including one covered with feathers) and a central role for a woodwind instrument with mystical powers, “The Magic Flute” is at its heart a simple and well-loved story — a quest fairy tale.

Since it premiered in Vienna in 1791, “The Magic Flute” has been one of the most popular of all operas. It is among the top 10 most performed in North America and has been made into two feature films, one directed by Ingmar Bergman (1975) and one by Kenneth Branagh (2006). Bethel College brings Mozart’s opera to the Krehbiel Auditorium stage March 7 and 8.

Psychology students to present at national conference

Three Bethel psychology students will present their research at the 22nd annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Salisbury, Md., April 10-12. Juniors Brittany Baker from Kingman, Sarah Buller from Lenexa and Katie Robertson from Lawrence submitted abstracts of their research and were invited to present.

Baker will give an oral presentation titled “A computer search engine selects music predictive of pleasant moods and emotions but not of liking.” Buller will present a poster, “Seasonal variation in daily ratings of pain and rash of a lupus patient.” Robertson is also giving an oral presentation, “Environmental factors’ influences upon the deception task in theory of mind.”

Psychology professors Dwight Krehbiel and Paul Lewis encouraged the students to submit proposals based on the research work they were doing at Bethel. “My understanding is that about two-thirds of the submissions are accepted,” said Krehbiel, “so it is somewhat selective — probably a good deal more than many undergraduate research conferences. On the national undergraduate research scene, this conference is probably the most prominent one.”

Bethel students began participating in the conference in 2001. Begun in 1987, the conference now hosts 2,000 students and faculty mentors each year.

A sabbatical spent in prison: Professor sees profound implications for inmates in theater

For all its rigid structure and scheduling, even prison can be unpredictable.

That’s what a Bethel professor, working at Hutchinson Correctional Facility (HCF) with an inmate drama troupe, discovered last fall, though not for the first time.

John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, was spending his second sabbatical in which he focused on the arts in prison, specifically theater. He had a group of HCF inmates working on two productions, “Poor Fellas,” a series of related sketches by Mark Palmieri, and “The Meeting,” a dramatization by Jeff Stetson of an imagined conversation between Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Hall of fame selections requested

Do you know of an athlete, coach, administrator or team who deserves to be in the Bethel College Athletic Booster Club Hall of Fame? The Booster Club is currently accepting nominations.

Nominations may be submitted via mail, phone or e-mail to Diane Flickner, Bethel College, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117; (316) 284-5279; flickner@bethelks.edu.

Alumni banquet and class reunions to be held in May

All alumni and friends of Bethel are invited to the Alumni Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 24, in Memorial Hall. The annual event honors this spring’s reunion classes, graduating class and alumni award recipients.

This year, those registering for reunions or making banquet reservations will receive a discount if they do so with full payment by Friday, May 9. After that, all regular-price registrations must be received with payment by Wednesday, May 14.

Cost of the banquet is $16.00 per person if paying by May 9, or $18.00 regular price if paying May 12-14. To make a reservation, visit or phone Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center at (316) 284-5205. Payment or credit card information is required when the reservation is made. (No refunds can be given after May 16, since after that Alumni Office will have been charged for reserved meals.) Those attending receive a personalized nametag at the door, which serves as their banquet ticket.

In addition, the following reunion classes are invited to special meals and coffees on Alumni Weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 23-24: 1933, 1938, 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963 and 1968. Class members who have not received an invitation by the end of March should contact the alumni office, (316) 284-5251, alumni@bethelks.edu.